More on the QuarkXPress 7.3 Update

Previously, we noted Quark’s QuarkXPress 7.3 update, which adds several new PDF output styles, fixes some bugs and improves performance. Now that we’ve had time to examine the list of fixes and existing issues, a few really stand out.

Among our favorite bug fixes are:

  • You can now save a project on a WebDAV server.
  • Soft hyphens no longer affect normal hyphenation.
  • Windows can be enlarged to any size on any display.
  • Pasted text now always maintains its original formatting.
  • Kerning values next to Drop Caps from QuarkXPress 6 are now maintained.
  • Overlapping picture boxes with borders now output correctly.
  • First-line indents now behave as they should.
  • Images now overprint as expected.
  • Some PSD image output issues are fixed.

But some problems still remain, including:

  • Duotones from Photoshop in EPS or PSD format don’t work properly.
  • Image pixels may shift when images overlap.
  • Profiles in RGB images may not display properly.
  • PSD files from Photoshop CS3 may not output spot or alpha channels.
  • Importing PDFs from InDesign or Illustrator that use transparency or drop shadows on text may cause QuarkXPress to quit.

I applaud Quark for finally releasing standard PDF Output Styles (presets) that don’t disappear during a restart, even if it took 14 months to do so. (QuarkXPress 7 was released in late May 2006, without these basic PDF Output Styles.)

On the other hand, QuarkXPress’s kinda-sorta support for native Photoshop files makes it difficult to sell that feature. Nobody wants to remember a list of “can’t do” behaviors when designing a page — I thought we learned that when Adobe introduced their disastrous transparency features.

And how can a magazine publisher live with a limitation on what kind of effects its customers can apply within the ads they submit? No transparency or drop shadows on text in PDFs from InDesign or Illustrator? From the number of incredibly ugly ads I’ve seen recently, it seems that both of these effects are very popular with Creative Suite users.

I know that Quark has historically chosen which bugs to fix according to how many complaints they receive about each one, so maybe I’m over-reacting and these are actually rare and relatively obscure issues. I welcome someone from Quark to correct me.